At least 16 Yemeni troops from the faction loyal to the Saudi government were killed, and six others wounded today when a patrol hit a roadside bomb in the Maarib Province. The bomb was planted just outside their base.
Maarib Province has in recent months been one of the front lines in the ongoing Yemen war, though in recent weeks the focus has shifted to the area around Taiz. In both cases, the fighting aims to control highways connecting the southern port of Aden to the capital of Sanaa.
Officials say they are unsure who planted the roadside bomb. Normally one would expect the Shi’ite Houthis, with whom the pro-Saudi faction are at war, as they have been planting land mines to slow the advance, but it would be unusual for them to get so close to a military base to plant a bomb.
This could also suggest that one of the other factions active in southern Yemen, like al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), may have been responsible, as the group has recently been contesting control of areas in the south with the pro-Saudi forces. AQAP holds the southern port of Mukalla, and has some presence in the pro-Saudi capital of Aden.